I decided to start making my own Scotch eggs after witnessing my boyfriend struggling to satisfy his odd British craving in Sydney. Since I hate the idea of deep-frying anything, I also tweaked the classic recipe for a healthier version using only just a touch of oil spray and a hot oven!
Ingredients: makes 10 eggs
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
3 tbsp worcester sauce
500g Pork mince
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Plain flour, to dust
Breadcrumbs, to coat
2 eggs, lightly beaten to coat
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place 10 eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water to cool completely, peel and dust with a bit of flour so that the surface is nice and dry.
2. In the meantime, combine the onion, garlic, chilli, herbs, worcester sauce and mince. Season with salt & pepper, mixe well and divide the mixture into 10 even portions.
3. To assemble to scotch eggs, mould half of one portion flat in the cup of your hand. Place a hard-boiled egg into it and shape the rest of the meat around to enclose. Roll it between your hands to smooth the surface. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
4. Roll each egg in the egg wash and breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat with the other eggs.
5. When you have assembled all of the scotch eggs, place them onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. Spray with oil and bake on high heat for 20 minutes. Spray again lightly, change the oven setting and grill for another 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Scotch eggs are great sliced over a green salad for a light dinner, or simply packed for a picnic or a lunch box! Mini scotch eggs using quail eggs can also make a great party food option!
This elegant Asian inspired dish will be a hit served as a snack or as a starter. The beautiful contrast between the crispy sweet potato and the sharp and creamy wasabi Mayo will take you by surprise and make you come back for more! Nom, nom, nom!
Ingredients: (2 as a starter)
1 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp sesame or walnut oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the sweet potato into very thin slices, using a vegetable peeler. Soak in salted water for 20-30 minutes.
2. Prepare the wasabi mayonnaise dip by whisking the mayonnaise in the wasabi cream and season with cracked pepper.
3. Drain and pat dry the sweet potato slices with paper towel and coat with sesame or walnut oil and season with salt & pepper. Transfer and spread seasoned potato slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, turn, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake for another 10 minutes until crisp.
Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds!
The good news is that these little tasty treats are also much healthier than traditional crisps!
It’s also the perfect starter, before a sushi platter!
These rich and chewy double chocolate cookies will satisfy any chocolate craving…although you may have to satisfy them more and more frequently…oh, well – we all know chocolate makes us happy!
Ingredients: (makes 16)
125g dark chocolate, melted
50g cocoa, sieved
1 cup flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g soft butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g macadamia nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl – whisk the butter and once combined, mix in the melted chocolate, vanilla extract and egg.
3. Whisk in the flour mix and finish with the macadamia nuts.
4. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper. Shape 16 equal-sized cookies and place on the tray, roughly 5 cm apart from each other as they will expand with the cooking. Bake for 20 minutes or until set.
5. Leave to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to harden.
These are absolutely delicious served with vanilla or coconut ice-cream! You can also freeze individual portions of the dough, ready to be baked as soon as the next craving hits you! Naughty…:-)
A good quiche is an extremely simple and fast meal to make, but never fails to impress. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, for a picnic or even as party food!
Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)
1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander or parsley
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease and flour a round oven tray to make it non stick. Lay the pastry sheet, trim excess and prick the bottom with a fork to prevent it from bubbling as it bakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander and bacon and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the leek and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized. Cool and sprinkle over cooked pastry.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk the eggs with the milk in a mixing bowl. Stir in half the cheese, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Pour over bacon and leek, sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Let is rest for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad!
If you fancy of change, swap the bacon for salmon, and the leek for spinach, mushroom or asparagus.
A Potato Salad is the perfect accompaniment for barbecues and picnics, as it’s best served with meat, seafood and a green leaf salad…A real classic for summer!
Ingredients: (serves 6 people as a side)
12 small potatoes (such as desiree), peeled
4 bacon rashers, rind & excess fat trimmed, finely chopped
3 large tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
3 large tbsp sour cream
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 shallots, finely chopped
6 gherkins, finely chopped
2 tbsp carpers, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of dill, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper & sea salt flakes
1. Cut each potato into 4, place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and boil uncovered for 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a stick. Drain and let it cool completely.
In the meantime, heat oil a small frying pan and cook the diced bacon until nice and brown.
2. Combine together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic into a mixing bowl. Top with the dill, gherkin, carpers, shallots and mix well. Taste and season with salt & pepper.
3. Gently toss in the potatoes and bacon bits and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
You can store the potato salad in the fridge for a few days. You can also top it with pieces of hard boiled eggs if you’re serving it as a main!
This is a really light, healthy and tasty dish, which will work beautifully as a lunch but also as a starter or as party food. It differs slightly from the traditional recipe as I omitted the rice vermicelli to avoid doubling up on the rice based ingredients! The secret is in the contrast between the fresh crisp ingredients, the tasty meat and the fragrant dipping sauce.
Ingredients: (6 rolls)
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into thin sticks
200g bean sprouts, steamed
2 spring onions, cut into thin strips
1 handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
1 handful peanut, crushed
200g pork fillet, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp Teriyaki sauce
3 tbsp Hoi sin or black bean sauce
9 prawns, cooked and halved
5 rice paper sheets
1. Pre-heat a non stick pan and cook the meat for a few minute with the teriyaki sauce. Add the hoi sin or black bean at the end and save on the side to cool.
2. Pour boiled water into a flat tray and place a dry kitchen towel flat on the surface next to it to use as a dipping and rolling station. place the rice paper roll in the warm water for a few seconds until just softened. Place it flat onto the kitchen towel spreading the ingredients toward the top edge – start with 3 prawn halves (round side down), peanuts, coriander, chilli, spring onion…
3. Continue with the vegetables – cucumber and bean sprouts
4. And finish with the meat. Add extra coriander at that stage if you like it as much as I do.
5. Roll up to enclose the filling, folding in the ends. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
You can serve it with chili sauce, soy or fish sauce. To make the fish dipping sauce – dissolve 1 tsp of sugar with 5 tsp of fish sauce, 5 tsp of lemon juice, a drop of water and a few slices of red chili. To store it in the fridge for up to 24h, cover the rolls with a damp towel, which will prevent the rice paper from drying out.
The ANZAC biscuits originated from World War I and were created and sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. They still tend to be sold as a fundraising item for the RSA. What surprises me most about Anzac Biscuits? How tasty a biscuit with no egg can be!
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1.5 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 pinch of salt
2 tbs boiling water
1 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g butter, cubed, melted
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Spread the macadamia nuts over a non stick baking tray and place in the oven for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let it cool and crunch into rough pieces.
2. Mix the flour, ginger into a large bowl, macadamia nuts, rolled oats, sugar and coconut into a large bowl. Mix the boiling water, golden syrup and bicarbonate of soda in a separate jug, let it froth up and add the butter in. Let the mixture cool slightly stir it into the other mixture and combine with a wooden spoon.
3. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Shape the mixture into 10-12 small bowls and flatten each one before placing it on the tray. Leave at least 2 cm between each.
4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool down on the tray for 20 minutes before transferring it to a serving plate.
Anzac biscuits are best served with a nice cup of tea or coffee. if you have any leftover, store the biscuits in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks, or probably even longer but you surely won’t have any left by then!
Flapjacks are incredibly easy and quick to make. Oat is also the main ingredient, so I like to think of it as a reasonably healthy treat to have as a mid morning snack with a cuppa! Some like it crunchy, but I prefer it chewy…Here is a great version…with nice choc’ banana twist!
Ingredients: (16 flapjacks)
250g organic rolled oat
80g raw brown sugar
5 tbsp golden maple sirup
1 tbsp salt
1 banana, mashed
75g chocolate, melted
3 tbsp milk
1 handful of unsalted nuts, crushed
1. Melt the butter in a large non stick saucepan over a very low heat. Add sugar and sirup and mix well.
2. Stir in the oats, add the banana and the pinch of salt.
3. Spread the mixture over a sheet of baking paper in a baking tray and press flat. Place in the oven and cook for 15 min at 220 degrees or until it turns golden brown. Leave it to cool.
4. In the meantime, prepare the melted chocolate in a pan by adding chocolate chunks and milk on low temperature. Dip Half of your flapjacks in chocolate and sprinkle the crushed nuts over it, so that you can still hold it without touching the chocolate (see top picture). Place in the fridge for an hour or to allow for the chocolate to set hard.
Store in a air tight box in the fridge for up to a week and bring half of it to your work colleagues. For an even healthier version, you an replace part of the butter with margarine!
Here is a little tuna mix I like to make on Sunday night for lunch during the week.
It’s cheap, tasty, healthy and really versatile. You can have it as a sandwich filling for a big lunch, on crackers or in a wrap for a lighter version, as a veg stick dip if you’re trying to be super healthy. It’s packed in protein, you won’t get bored of it and it also lasts for days in the fridge.
Ingredients: (serves 4 lunches)
1 large can of tuna
1 small can of sweetcorn
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1small chili, finely chopped
A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
4/5 tbsp of thousand island sauce
salt & pepper
1. Drain and flake the tuna into a large bowl
2. Add your drained sweetcorn, spring onion, onion, sauce and mix well
3. Add fresh herbs, chili and season with salt and pepper.
You can also switch the thousand island dressing for salad cream or mayo, the coriander for dill or basil, chili for Jelapenos, onions for shallots…So you can pretty much make it as long as you have a can of una in the pantry!